§ Order for Committee read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."—(Sir John Lubbock.)
§ EARL PERCY
said, that it could not surely be the intention of the hon. Baronet who introduced this Bill to ask the House to go into Committee upon it at that late hour. The second reading of the Bill was taken on the 17th December—the very last day that the House sat—and it had been put on the Paper on the present occasion con- 1274 trary to the usual rule. He trusted some little time would be given to hon. Members to consider what Amendments they should propose. It would also be necessary to have time to put the Amendments on the Paper. He begged to move the adjournment of the debate.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned."—(Earl Percy.)
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
appealed to the hon. Baronet the Member for Maidstone not to proceed with the Bill at that late hour.
§ SIR JOHN LUBBOCK
agreed that it would be unreasonable to ask the House to discuss anything on which there was a difference of opinion at that hour. If the House would allow the Bill to go into Committee he would not take anything which was disputed.
LORD FRANCIS HERVET
reminded the hon. Baronet of the good fortune which he had met with in the progress of the Bill during the present Session; and he hoped that, under the circumstances, he would be satisfied with the success that had already attended him.
§ MR. DILLWYN
thought the hon. Member was right in pressing the Bill on at the present time, having regard to the difficulties which private Members experienced in the conduct of their Bills.
§ MR. BERESFORD HOPE
must remind the House that this was no new Bill, but one with which it was well acquainted. His hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone asked that the Bill should be allowed to go into Committee, and not that the Amendments might be considered that night. As there was nothing in the general scope of the Bill which was not well known to those opposing it, he thought the request reasonable; and he was sure his hon. Friend did not propose to go further, after getting into Committee.
§ MR. RAIKES
observed, that the Amendments by the Secretary to the Treasury opened a very large question. He must also point out to the House that the Amendments which had been brought forward then might very well have been put down in December, when there would not have been the reason now urged for the postponement of the Bill. The hon. Baronet could not com- 1275 plain of that reason for postponement being offered. It was rather unreasonable, it appeared to him, that the Bill, which had undergone important changes, should be pushed forward in this way. He thought that those who had already shown the hon. Baronet a good deal of consideration might fairly ask him to give them some consideration in return, and consent to the postponement of the Committee.
§ MR. MONK
, on behalf of the hon. Baronet the Member for Maidstone, stated that he merely wished now to be allowed to take the Bill formally into Committee, and that he would at once postpone the further consideration of it. Under these circumstances, he thought that the House would only be acting fairly towards his hon. Friend, whose Bill had been read a second time on four previous occasions, by allowing it to go into Committee.
said, that the hon. Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Beresford Hope) had reminded them that the Bill was one which was well known to the House; but it should not be forgotten that they had also been informed that the hon. Member for Maidstone had made very great alterations in it, which practically made it a new Bill. What the nature of the Amendments was the House did not know; they were only aware that certain alterations had been effected, and that certain arrangements had taken place between the hon. Baronet and the Government. Was it fair, under these circumstances, to ask the House to go into Committee at that time?
§ SIR JOHN LUBBOCK
stated that he had not introduced Amendments, but that they had been suggested, and that he had consented to adopt them, and they appeared in the Bill as it was printed. He did not desire to enter into debate at that hour; but, as his hon. Friend the Chairman of the Committees knew, he would have little chance of going on unless he pressed the Bill then.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 33; Noes 81: Majority 48.—(Div. List, No. 6.)
§ Question again proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."
§ MR. ONSLOW moved the adjournment of the House.1276
§ EARL PERCY
hoped the hon. Baronet would not press the matter on at that time, considering that the second reading had been passed by a mistake, and that there had been no discussion. He thought that he should be content with the progress already made.
§ MR. HEYGATE
, in seconding the Motion, said, that he only did so because of the lateness of the hour; but he hoped the measure would be passed into law in good time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—(Mr. Onslow.)
§ SIR JOHN LUBBOCK
said, that if the House would consent to go into Committee, then he would be perfectly willing to carry out his undertaking. If there had been any misapprehension by the noble Lord he regretted it, and if the noble Lord wished to put down any Amendments, he should be glad to give him every opportunity of doing so.
§ MR. ONSLOW
said, he would withdraw his Motion after what had fallen from the hon. Baronet. His object was only to obtain that explanation.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Friday next.